, Newburyport, MA

February 5, 2013

Discussion on PI water system Feb. 13


---- — NEWBURYPORT — Municipal leaders have scheduled a meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 6 p.m. in City Hall to discuss purported problems with the water system on Plum Island.

Mayor Donna Holaday has indicated engineers and water-system professionals will be present to explain rumored vulnerabilities in the system.

No specifics about the meeting were given.

Residents of Plum Island in recent weeks have expressed concern that there are potential flaws in the water system.

Plum Island consists of both Newburyport and Newbury residents, but most reside in Newbury.

Several weeks ago Tracy Blais, town administrator of Newbury, stated that there were “failures” in the $22.9 million system.

The system, built about eight years ago, is run by the city of Newburyport, and Holaday has been seeking answers to residents’ concerns.

She has not speculated on what the problems might be, but said that when the city has answers she will share them with residents. That moment appears to be next Wednesday.

Several key local governmental leaders have indicated they don’t know specifics of the problem. Those declining comment include state Sen. Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, who is active in the affairs of Plum Island; state Rep. Mike Costello, D-Newburyport; and Newburyport city councilors Allison Heartquist and Steve Hutcheson.

Joe Story, who chairs the Newbury Board of Selectman, has also declined comment.